Camp  Lejeune Weekly Update
 

The court recently announced it’s Track 2 Discovery Plan which says that the Plaintiff’s and Government will start picking filed claims with (1) prostate cancer; (2) kidney disease; (3) lung cancer; (4) liver cancer; and/or (5) breast cancer to be the next bellwether cases which will go to trial in late 2024 or early 2025. This procedure focuses on people with conditions for whom early trials may help to promote early resolution for their illnesses.

If you have been exposed to Camp Lejeune toxic water and are experiencing any symptoms of the above conditions, contact the Poole Law Group immediately to begin your claim.

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All Camp Lejeune Cases Must Be Filed By August 9, 2024

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A Brief History of Camp Lejeune 

Camp Lejeune is a Marine Corps base camp used for military training. Established in 1941, the 246-square-mile campus, located in Jacksonville, North Carolina, became a central hub for military training and amphibious assault training. It remains in operation; current resident commands include the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, the II Marine Expeditionary Force, the Marine Corps Engineer School, and multiple Marine Expeditionary Units.

For all its illustrious history, however, Camp Lejeune is best known as the site of a multi-decade water contamination disaster. For at least 34 years, from 1953 and 1987, Marines and their families unknowingly drank and bathed in water that was dangerously contaminated. Toxicology readings show particulate concentrations up to 3,400 times the safety standards at the time. According to some estimates, roughly one million people may have been exposed to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water.

In 1982, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), proven to cause birth defects in pregnant and nursing mothers, were discovered in two of the eight water treatment plants on base. Camp Lejeune's drinking water. This information was kept from the public until the mid-2010s when a lawsuit was launched to bring justice to injured people.

Multiple types of health problems have been linked to contaminated water exposure at Camp Lejeune. This includes various types of cancer, leukemia, birth defects, miscarriages, and infertility. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances Registry, affected houses include, but may not be limited to:

  • Tarawa Terrace
  • Midway Park
  • Berkeley Manor
  • Paradise Point
  • Hadnot Point
  • Hospital Point
  • Watkins Village

The Camp LeJeune Justice Act of 2022 (CLJA), part of the law called the Honoring Our PACT (Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics) Act, was signed into law on August 10, 2022. This act allows anyone who was affected by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to seek compensation from the federal government for their injuries. This includes veterans and their families, as well as anyone who may have been affected by Camp Lejeune water contamination for 30 days or more.

If you believe you were exposed to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953 to December 31, 1987, talk to an attorney today to seek compensation: 301-790-3600.


Frequently Asked Questions about Camp Lejeune

Camp Lejeune contaminated drinking water

What Caused the Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune?

Water contamination seeped in from multiple sources, including supply wells, storage tanks, improperly insulated waste disposal sites, and industrial spills. One of the primary sources of the contamination was ABC One-Hour Cleaners, an off-base dry cleaning firm with improper waste disposal practices. Two of the contaminants present in the water were safety solvents that were being used as cleaning chemicals.

What Chemicals Were in the Water at Camp Lejeune?

According to the ATSDR, tests identified trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride (VC) and benzene in several drinking water sources at Camp Lejeune. They are all colorless chemicals that would not have changed the appearance of the water.

  • Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a solvent used for cleaning metal parts. TCE degrades in groundwater over time to become vinyl chloride (VC).
  • Tetrachloroethylene (PCE, PCE, or PERC) is used for dry cleaning and metal degreasing. PCE also breaks down in groundwater over time, becoming the toxic chemical vinyl chloride (VC). 
  • Vinyl chloride (VC), also known as chloroethene, chloroethylene, and ethylene monochloride, is a chemical compound that is used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC), commonly found in plastic products, including pipes, wire and cable coatings. PVC is also found in packaging materials.
  • Benzene is used alongside other chemicals to make plastics, nylon, resins, and synthetic fibers.

What Are Some Health Conditions Caused by Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

Many people who lived and worked at Camp Lejeune later developed fatal or permanently life-altering health complications from the contaminated water. Studies have found sufficient evidence to link the following contaminants with the listed conditions:

  • Tetrachloroethylene (PCE, PCE, or PERC): bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and end-stage renal disease
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE): kidney cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cardiac birth defects, liver cancer, leukemia, multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, end-stage renal disease, scleroderma
  • Benzene: non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia
  • Vinyl chloride (VC): liver cancer

Medical data also suggests multiple links between one or more of the above contaminants and other health conditions, including but not limited to: cancer; cirrhosis of the liver; Hodgkin’s disease; aplastic anemia; neurological issues; miscarriage; infertility; fetal death; birth defects; and impaired immune system function. To learn more about these medical conditions, see the following report: ATSDR Assessment of the Evidence for the Drinking Water Contaminants at Camp Lejeune and Specific Cancers and Other Diseases (2017).

According to a 2023 study of 172,128 American veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune, the rates of Parkinson's disease were found to be 70% higher than in the control group, suggesting that exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) may increase risk of Parkinson's disease.

NOTE: The full list of medical injuries related to water contamination is ever-evolving. If you believe you are experiencing a medical condition as the result of Camp Lejeune water contamination, talk to your attorney to discuss your case: 301-790-3600

Is Camp Lejeune Shutting Down? 

Contrary to some rumors, there are no plans to close the Marine Corp Base at Camp Lejeune. The military base is now completely safe for living, working and training; the last of the known water contamination issues ended in the 1980s.

What's Next for People Who Have Been Harmed by the Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune?

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), passed in 2022, allows victims of Camp Lejeune’s water contamination to file lawsuits for monetary compensation. The CLJA not only removes legal barriers to getting compensation with a more lenient standard of proof but also outlines specific injuries that qualify for compensation. People who previously tried to sue for damages and whose claims were rejected should file again. Victims can sue for both economic and non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering). There is no stated limit on compensatory damage awards.

If you were at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, and you believe you have suffered water contamination, you need to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. These suits must be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina; anyone filing from outside this District should file in the Southern Division instead. Talk to an attorney today about beginning the process of filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim.

If you have been exposed to toxicants from Camp Lejeune and are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you have the right to retain an attorney and recover monetary damages for your injuries. Call the Poole Law Group at 301-790-3600 to begin your financial recovery process. 


Filing a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

It is estimated that up to 1 million people could have viable Camp Lejeune claims. To begin this process, victims must file an administrative claim that outlines their exposure window and related health problems.

Anyone can file a lawsuit under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act if they can show that they were exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, for at least 30 days. To show liability, plaintiffs must produce evidence of at least one medical condition, demonstrated through their medical record, that aligns with the known risk factors of Camp Lejeune’s water contamination exposure. Compared to similar cases, this burden of proof is considered relatively lenient.

Who Qualifies for the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Through House Bill 6482 - Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, the U.S. government has agreed to provide monetary relief for anyone injured from exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. This includes military personnel, family members, and contractors. You have until August 9, 2024, to file your claim.

Can I File a Camp Lejeune Claim?

To qualify as part of this action, you must have:

  1. spent at least thirty (30) days of living, working, or otherwise being exposed to the contaminated water between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 (this includes anyone who may have been exposed in-utero);
  2. AND at least one known condition that is caused by the toxicants Camp Lejeune (see list below).

Some known medical conditions linked to toxic water exposure are listed below. This list is meant to be a general guide; talk to a lawyer if you have a medical condition that is not listed but that you believe is linked to your exposure to Camp Lejeune water contamination. 

  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Female infertility
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Miscarriage
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma
  • Major Cardiac Birth Defects

 

If you lived at Camp Lejeune (or were otherwise exposed to the toxic water on site) and are experiencing any of these medical conditions, call the Poole Law Group immediately to discuss your case: 301-790-3600


Expected Individual Payout Amounts in Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

Camp Lejeune cases are still quite new, and there is no set amount for how much each specific case will be worth. However, funds may be substantial; there is no stated limit on compensatory damages. With proven exposure and evidence of medical harm, you can expect compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost income and earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Call the Poole Law Group today to discuss your situation and determine if you are eligible to file.

Are Claims Filed Individually?

Yes, every injured party must file suit individually with the court. The Camp Lejeune water contamination action is NOT a mass tort action; it is a special cause of action created by Congress. However, even though there are thousands of possible individual claimants, the degrees of exposure and harm will vary case by case. This is different from a class action case, where plaintiffs file as a singular class and receive largely identical or batched damages.

What Kind of Damages Are Available Through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?

Successful plaintiffs will receive compensation for their medical costs; wage loss and lost earning capacity; and any future treatment costs associated with their medical care; as well as pain and suffering related to their injuries. The CLJA excludes punitive damages from consideration. 

Any damage award will be offset by existing federal medical stipends, including VA payments and Medicare/Medicaid payments for health problems or disabilities related to toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune.

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Deadline

All Camp Lejeune cases must be filed by August 9, 2024.

File Your Claim Now

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Contact a Poole Law Group attorney today to file your claim: 301-790-3600

Camp LeJeune drinking water

Why You Need a Lawyer for Your Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Understanding the Camp Lejeune Justice Act

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act, or CLJA, is a recent federal action that offers a pathway for compensation for people injured from toxic water exposure. 

The CLJA overrides a longstanding North Carolina law that prevents victims from bringing claims that are more than ten years from the last date of exposure: a necessary concession, as many people didn’t realize they had been injured until decades after their exposure. (The Marine Corps did not begin notifying former Camp Lejeune residents until 1999: twelve years from the last known exposure.)

The CLJA also makes it possible for military members to sue for injuries related to their time in the service. The Feres Doctrine (1950) bars service members from suing the government for service-related injuries; the CLJA carves out a legal space where this standard does not apply. Similarly, the CLJA prevents the government from using the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) as a defense against monetary compensation.

Should I Hire a Lawyer For a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

Yes, you should hire a lawyer for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit

While the law may seem cut-and-dry, the administrative procedures can be quite complicated. An experienced Camp Lejeune lawyer can help you gather evidence to show both liability and the extent of your medical injuries. Studies have shown that claims represented by attorneys receive substantially higher awards than claims that are brought directly from the plaintiff. 

REMEMBER: Just proving that you or a family member was at Camp LeJeune during the correct time frame and suffered one of the listed illnesses MAY NOT be enough to receive compensation. Speak to one of our Camp Lejeune attorneys to learn more about how to qualify: 301-790-3600.


Why Choose Poole Law Group for Your Camp Lejeune Claim

Poole Law Group brings a wealth of experience to every Camp Lejeune claim. We believe that every injured person deserves the very best in legal care and that every case must be seen through to resolution, with maximum compensation received. Poole Law Group stands ready to care for our military clients and their family members. Our reputation speaks for itself.

We:

  • Serve on a military advisory board to understand the details that may affect military clients and their cases
  • Work alongside the renowned environmental litigation firm  Baird Mandalas Brockstedt Federico & Cardea, LLC, when bringing Camp Lejeune cases before the court. 
  • Belong to an exclusive consortium of high-caliber law firms that have been entrusted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to handle these cases for its members.
  • Take a 25% contingency fee on all Camp Lejeune settlements. This is a far lower percentage than you will find with most law firms. We do this because we want Camp Lejeune military families to conclude their cases with the most compensation possible.

Watch lead attorney Bruce Poole's recent interview on filing Camp Lejeune litigation:

 


What is The Statute of Limitations on a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit? 

The “statute of limitations” of the time during which you are allowed to file a claim for damages, is just two years from the enactment of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. 

IMPORTANT: You must file your claim before August 9, 2024. Call today to start your case: 301-790-3600.

Is There a Camp Lejeune Class Action Lawsuit as Well? 

No. This is different from a class action case because every plaintiff may receive a different award based on their degree of exposure and medical issues. Victims must bring individual claims and file separately, instead of filing as a unified plaintiff class.

Can People Already Receiving VA Benefits File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit? 

Yes. The Department of Veterans Affairs permits veterans, reservists, and National Guard members to receive benefits through the CLJA. To qualify, beneficiaries must not have been dishonorably discharged.

The VA lists eight conditions that will qualify a claimant for healthcare and disability compensation:

  1. Adult leukemia
  2. Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  3. Bladder cancer
  4. Kidney cancer
  5. Liver cancer
  6. Multiple myeloma
  7. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  8. Parkinson’s disease

The Department of Veterans Affairs has listed fifteen conditions that are deemed reimbursable for out-of-pocket health care costs: 

  • Bladder, breast, esophageal, kidney, and lung cancer
  • Leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma, and myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Female infertility and miscarriage
  • Hepatic steatosis (liver disease)
  • Renal toxicity (kidney dysfunction)
  • Scleroderma (autoimmune disease)
  • Neurobehavioral effects

Compensation for Camp Lejeune water contamination will be reduced by VA payments. To learn more, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

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